HOLD ON AND STAND FIRM TO PROTECT OUR STUDENTS!

Foreword: The political framework decided by the National People Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) on 31 August has killed our dream of democracy, which has also made a turning point of this important era. As both a teaching professional and a citizen, we feel very disappointed and furious at the slow progress of Hong Kong’s political reform, the division of the community and the weakening of our core values.

At the moment all the movements of civil disobedience are about to start and the boycott of classes is now in full swing. The Administration will at the same time have many suppressive measures. At this awkward stage, teachers should therefore be dedicated to their mission in this era, to protect our students and share our democratic vision with students. In this issue we shall write on our opinions towards the decision of NPCSC and some suggestions for the boycott of classes.

Furious at the decision of NPCSC

We always insist on the universal suffrage based on international standard and election plan should include three channels for nomination, that is, civil nomination, political party nomination, and nomination by the nominating committee, proposed by Alliance for True Democracy (ATD) composed of different pan-democratic organizations. We have also struggled for every opportunity to convince the Central Government of accepting our proposal through dialogue, but very disappointingly the Central Government did not accept our opinion, and in fact they said no to the true democracy, and have set barriers against the pan-democratic camp. We feel very disappointed and furious at this.

Serve with dedication and never fail

Our Council has several views towards the decision of NPCSC, as follows:

1. We have one vote in the Legco, and our Council is convinced that we should say no to the proposal of this fake and regressive universal suffrage, which shows no respect to our people. Later we will collect our members’ views on the proposal.

2. We appeal to our members to be committed to our profession. We estimate that the governance of the SAR government will be more difficult from time to time, due to more severe conflicts and divisions in society and worse social atmosphere. When the real universal suffrage cannot come true, we are worried that those core values that our community has been treasuring most will be undermined or mutated, such as freedom of speech, press freedom, academic freedom, social justice, judicial independence, and political neutrality of civil servants. School is a place to cultivate students?independent thinking and core values, so we hope that our colleagues can serve with dedication, and teach our students to treasure our core values. This is not only our responsibility, but also our mission of education in this era.

3. We will discuss with pan-democratic camp, three founders of Occupy Central and sectors from all walks of life, on our future plan to show our dissatisfaction with the decision of NPCSC. Please pay attention to our notifications and your comments are very much appreciated.

4. Disappointed, but not discouraged: this is indeed a serious setback of the fight for democracy. However, we must believe that when we struggle with dedication, the society will be progressively moving on from time to time, democracy will come true in one day.

Why is the decision of NPCSC a fake democracy?

635p1_pic04Universal suffrage means not only one person one vote, but also the real choice made by the people. The real democracy should be a mechanism that would not rule out any popularly supported potential candidate, and would not tread on people rights to nominate and be nominated.

This time NPCSC laid out an extremely conservative resolution that nomination of the future CE can only become candidate with the endorsement of over half the Nominating Committee. As we all know that the formation of the Nominating Committee is not completely democratic, a candidate from the pan-democratic camp could even be nominated with the backing of one-eighth of the Committee in the previous CE elections. The proportion of the endorsement being increased to over half would actually set an obstacle to the candidates of pan-democratic camp. The lawmakers of the pan-democratic camp gained around 60% of votes of HK people in the Legco election, but obviously would not be nominated as a candidate to the election of Chief Executive. The Central Government has promised Hong Kong people the universal suffrage, but at last it is now a fake universal suffrage, which is an unacceptable and regressive decision for our people.

It is regretful to realize that the decision of the Central Government is, in fact, showing no intention to further talk with the pan-democratic camp, our union representatives included, demonstrating no trust and respect to Hong Kong People, and turning a deaf ear to our plea.